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Preventing Worker Deaths from Paint Strippers Containing Methylene Chloride

Methylene chloride (dichloromethane) is a widely used solvent that can cause serious illness or death when used in enclosed spaces. It is a cancer-causing chemical used in paint strippers, in the production of polymer foams and as a degreaser.

The Occupational Health Branch investigated two incidents in California in which workers died after using paint strippers containing methylene chloride.

OHB poster in a hardware store     

     OHB recommends the following to keep workers safe:

            • Become familiar with the risks of methylene chloride in paint strippers
            • Use less toxic alternatives; and
            • Use effective personal protective equipment and an exhaust ventilation system (not just a fan).

 Photo: OHB poster in a hardware store

Fatality and hazard alerts

Safety materials

Additional Information about Methylene Chloride


Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation Program (FACE)

Occupational Health Surveillance and Evaluation Program (OHSEP)

Hazard Evaluation System & Information Service (HESIS)

Occupational Health Branch

Last modified on: 10/19/2015 3:33 PM